A computer could never create beautiful art the way a living, breathing, human can, but it can come pretty darn close. As Co.Design reports, the Department of Computer Graphics and Interaction (DCGI) at the Czech Technical University in Prague and Adobe Research have collaborated on a project called StyLit, which uses an algorithm to observe coloring techniques and then apply them in real time to a more complex 3D rendering.
The researchers write that the algorithm "preserves the rich expressiveness of hand-created artwork," using the physics of light propagation to "distinguish among context-dependent illumination effects, for which artists typically use different stylization techniques, and delivers a look closer to realistic artwork." As demonstrated in the video above, the StyLit setup includes a downward facing camera placed over the artist's drawing station. As he or she colors and shades, the techniques are applied by StyLit to a drawing of a more complicated 3D object that would, in real life, have a more involved relationship with a light source.
As Co.Design points out, the technology does have its restrictions, and isn't quite up to snuff for full 3D animations, but it's a promising workaround for artists who want to bring a hand-drawn feel to their three-dimensional imaginings.
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